First time hydro, going to try Ebb/Flow - is this a reasonable plan?

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by Larry3215, Feb 2, 2018.

  1.  
    Budley Doright

    Budley Doright Well-Known Member

    I like to keep my canopy/room at about 78 so I need to chill my water which I find 66/67 to be just about perfect for a healthy root mass. I did keep the room cooler without the chiller and yup it grew plants but things did suffer and the root mass was compromised when temps got warmer.
     
  2.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

    LOL! Yeah, your setup is a bit beyond what I am willing to tackle, but very cool! Thanks for sharing.

    I was thinking about possibly using a small, used under cabinet reffer or one of those electric ice chests as a starting point if I needed to chill my water. I could run the water line between my rez and the air lift pump through either one pretty easily.
     
  3.  
    Budley Doright

    Budley Doright Well-Known Member

    If it was me I would keep an eye out for a used aquarium chiller, I honestly think it's the one best investments if using a flooded root setup.
     
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  4.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

    Thanks for the suggestion! That reminded me about thermometric modules and when I checked just now, I see that prices on them have come way down from the last time I checked - a few decades ago.

    I have an old electric icechest, but I might get in trouble if I tear it apart. My wife likes it on lng trips. :)

    If I need to do some cooling, I will DIY my own chiller using these or something similar.

    https://www.amazon.com/Glamorway-TE...rd_wg=oSJQ9&psc=1&refRID=0XF2JEFZM2JKG86Z5AFJ

    They can be found other places for a lot less.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  5.  
    Smok3yMcChok3y

    Smok3yMcChok3y Well-Known Member

    I started with standard 2x2 ebb tables. I found the headroom limits in my tent kept pushing me back to dwc. You are trying to scrog so maybe you'll be ok but that was my limit. I'm not too sure why the auto siphon and all that? Why not just fill to a tip drain and after a 15 minute flood cycle let the water return to res through the pump? It's what I did and the original water pump still runs to help me drain my res now 8 years later...
     
  6.  
    Budley Doright

    Budley Doright Well-Known Member

    I would be very careful about the thermal electric modules. They are power hogs and offer very little cooling but I have no experience other than running the numbers which add up to low efficiency. But in saying that the investment is small enough that it would be a cool (lol) test. Also keep in mind that the heat removed will be added to the room unless the res is located outside the grow. I keep my chiller remote from the room and pipe in
     
  7.  
    Budley Doright

    Budley Doright Well-Known Member

    That's exactly what I do and yup that has a height limiting effect, my pump is also getting up there in years lol
     
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  8.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

    I could easily do that with this setup - but - it would require the addition of a timer.

    I could do a cheap mechanical timer on the air pump which drives my air lift pump. That would only cost maybe $6-$7.

    On the other hand, changing a standard overflow drain tube into an automatic siphon costs at most $2 in plumbing fittings and eliminates any need for timers. The automatic siphon IS the timer. Since it has no moving parts its one less failure point.

    In all honesty, the difference in cost is minor. It adds a little to my over all savings, but its not really the main point for me. I mostly just think its a cool idea with a few added benefits, thats super easy to do, and has no negatives that I can see.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  9.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

    Those aquarium coolers you mentioned above use the exact same tech, so thats where I got the idea. I suspect they use better modules, but as you say, at less than $2 ea shipped, these are cheap enough to experiment with. I already have power supplies and heat sinks, thermal paste, etc, so the cost to play with it will be minor.

    Also, yes, the rez will be outside the grow area, plus Im now planning to draw air into the grow totes from the outside rather than the grow tent.

    I'm still hoping I wont need to do anything as far as chilling, but we will see..
     
  10.  
    Smok3yMcChok3y

    Smok3yMcChok3y Well-Known Member

    But what your going to do is a perpetual flood drain then restart cycle. That Seems unnecessary. when I did flood tables I only flooded 5 or 6 times a day for 15 mins each cycle. You wouldn't want your table flooded during lights out for instance. Either way timers are cheap and you should own a few of them. Also what makes you think the cycle wouldnt be broken by substrate encroachment. If you flood a table full of hydroton to a level higher than your pebbles sitting when dry they will float around. And you're going to mess with root mass stability keeping your babies vertical. And if you flood lower than the hydroton level how can you feel.confident that the pebbles won't mess with the siphon? I'd trust a pump over a passive siphon any day. If you choose to go the passive siphon route please keep us updated as I'm intrigued by the thought of it. Jist seems like you're fixing something that ain't broke.

    Edit: I saw you are looking at nirvana seeds. I've run wonder woman for years and love her. I've run her snow white white rhino and am finishing out some mango skunk now. I didn't like the fluff of the snow white and white rhino strains but am digging mango. So just food for thought
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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  11.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

    My plan is to only flood up to about 2" below the top of the hydroton. As far as the hydroton blocking the siphon, there are a number of ways to prevent that. The easiest is a simple guard around the siphon with holes or slots cut in it that are smaller than the hydroton. The guard will be open at the top and extend up through the hydroton, so I can check it periodically to see if roots have gotten inside, clean it out, etc.

    As I said before, these automatic siphons have been in wide spread use in general hydroponics applications, all over the world, since the early 1900's at least. That includes large scale commercial hydro growers. Those guys dont want to mess with dozens of timers scattered all over a huge hydro farm and the increased failure potential. Most of them recommend them because they are simpler and more reliable than timers. A typical setup would be either a long row of individual tanks with a single auto siphon controlling them all or a single siphon on a large table or row of tables.

    Your point about my continuous cycling being too much flood time was a concern of mine from early on.

    Ive thought about that a lot, and I think that, if you look at a waterfarm, or DWC or RDWC, or even a hempy bucket, a large portion of the roots are sitting in water 24/7. That makes me think that constant cycling 24/7 would not be a problem. As I understand it, the main advantage to an ebb/flow setup, over those others, is that fresh air is being drawn in over the roots on every cycle. It seems to me that more cycles would be better. The other advantage of faster cycle times would be a more constant temp inside the root zone. If it sits a long time with no water, the temps will tend to climb due to heat migrating in from the grow room and your media and roots will warm up - only to be shocked by the cold water entering on the next flood cycle.

    Or - is my thinking way off on this?

    I will for sure keep you guys up-dated on how well or poorly this works :)
     
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  12.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

    Forgot about this - thanks for the tips! Im still on my forst grow, so I dont know how much I will end up likeing my choices yet. I may give your suggestions a try next time I buy seeds. I was happy with Nirvana service and would use them again.
     
  13.  
    rkymtnman

    rkymtnman Well-Known Member

    it won't be a problem at all.
    but if you are going to run it that frequently, go with dwc or rdwc for way faster growth than E&F.

    i modified my waterfarms so that they are auto-feed and i can easily go out of town for a week or more without issues.
     
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  14.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    Bell syphons and air lifts are sweet
     
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  15.  
    Larry3215

    Larry3215 Active Member

    Interesting. Your the first person Ive heard say that R/DWC is faster then E/F?

    Id love it if I can get my setup that stable for that long!
     
  16.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    Im going to be doing a side by side
    Of rdwc and a custom flood and drain /nft table

    After this run is done
     
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  17.  
    rkymtnman

    rkymtnman Well-Known Member

    if you did a 5 gal dwc (as a basic dwc grow), your rootball will be pretty much the size of the bucket. it would never be that big in and E&F for a similar sized plant. . big roots=big fruits
     
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  18.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    I would say plant health and environment will matter most

    Thats why im going to run a side by side in my environment.

    Cause if the flood and drain is just as productive
    Ill switch.


    I have seen some pretty nice fllod and drain roots they are just spread out differently
     
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  19.  
    Budley Doright

    Budley Doright Well-Known Member

    Are you sure about that re faster growth? I'm thinking of switching up my setup but still not sure which way to go. I'm switching more for plant movement than speed, getting pretty good growth now with my ebb and flow, but hey I'll also take faster lol. I can get through about 24/36 hours with a failure of a pump now, not sure about DWC being that forgiving before it turns to brown root soup, just one consideration among many
     
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  20.  
    Cold$moke

    Cold$moke Well-Known Member

    The way i built my rdwc the circ pump cycles it enough to where i dont need stones but i have air as a backup.


    Bu t if flood and drain/nft that im going go build is just as productive on just 1 pump id be happy.
    :)
     

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